Main content

Postpartum Assessment of Health Survey (PAHS)

PAHS Survey by Columbia World Projects at Columbia University.

Postpartum Assessment of Women Survey PAWS icon

The Postpartum Assessment of Health Survey (PAHS) is the first large-scale U.S. data collection effort on the health and wellbeing of postpartum people and families in the year after a child is born.

By the Numbers

  • 1 in 3
    Pregnancy-related deaths occur one week to one year after birth
  • 3 in 5
    Pregnancy-related deaths could be prevented
  • 87 to 94%
    Of birthing people report a health problem in the first three months postpartum

The goal of the survey is to give voice to the experiences of postpartum people in the year after birth. The findings will help to better identify and address the causes of postpartum maternal morbidity and mortality. 

Please note that this webpage provides information on the survey and does not contain the PAHS survey itself. The survey was distributed to select recipients throughout 2021 and data collection is currently closed.


The purpose of the Postpartum Assessment of Health Survey (PAHS) is to better understand how to improve the health and quality of life of postpartum people and families in the year after a child is born. The survey will ask a representative sample of individuals in six states and New York City about their physical and mental health, health care use and the social determinants of health in the year after giving birth. Data from this effort will provide insights on actionable strategies that could be taken by state health departments, governments, clinicians and other relevant actors to promote the health of families and mitigate maternal morbidity and mortality in the year after birth.

PAHS is an interdisciplinary research collaboration between Columbia University researchers and seven city and state departments of health. The survey is part of a larger Columbia World Project, “Leveraging Policy to Improve Maternal Health in the Fourth Trimester.” Columbia World Projects is a Columbia University initiative that mobilizes the university’s researchers and scholars to work with governments, organizations, businesses and communities to tackle global challenges and improve people’s lives.

Study Leads




Student Alumni




PAHS is being conducted in collaboration with seven city and state departments of heath.


In addition to government partners, PAHS has benefited from expert input from the following individuals:

Lindsay Admon, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan

Brittany Chambers, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA
Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health; Director, Rural Health Research Center

Dara Mendez, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburg Graduate School of Public Health

Alison Stuebe, MD
Professor, Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health; Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UNC School of Medicine

Survey Implementation

For six study sites, PAHS is implemented by the Rutgers Bloustein Center for Survey Research (BCSR). BCSR provides high quality, non-partisan, objective research services to government, academia, the private sector and non-profit organizations. The BSCR Maternal and Child Health Unit has more than a decade of experience conducting surveys of mothers and children including the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS).

Get Involved

The PAHS team is currently seeking support for knowledge translation efforts to maximize the impact of PAHS findings on policy and practice. If you or your organization is interested in supporting the current or future iterations of PAHS, please email [email protected].

Survey Topics

PAHS collects information on several domains critical to the health of postpartum people and families in the year after a child is born. To create a rich, longitudinal dataset covering the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods, this information will be linked to data from state and city birth certificate files and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). PAHS topics include:

  • Demographics
  • Health Insurance
  • Health Care Access and Use
  • Unmet Health Needs
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Housing
  • Nutrition
  • Financial Security and Employment
  • Social Support
  • Bias and Discrimination
  • COVID-19

State & City Data

Learn more about maternal health statistics and policies in the jurisdictions where the PAHS survey is being distributed: